Observing the Sarah Palin phenomenon, does anyone feel like they're trapped in a singularly creepy remake of "Night of the Living Dead"? George W. Bush has been a political corpse for years. But Palin resembles a female version of Bush, brought back from the grave to win the election.
You wouldn't think that the Republicans would want to exhume Bush. After all, his presidency has been a historic disaster, and the American people know it. But Bush was successful at one thing: winning elections. With its policies and ideology in ruins, Bush's political game plan is all that the GOP has left. And so McCain, who sold his soul to win, is following Bush's script -- with Sarah Palin playing the leading role once played by Bush.
Palin represents the reappearance of the one part of Bush that never died -- the culture warrior. Democrats may have forgotten about the notorious red state-blue state divide, or hoped that the failures of the last eight years had made it go away. But it hasn't. It's been there all along. If Palin catapults McCain to victory, it will be revealed to be the most powerful and enduring force in American politics. And that fact will raise serious questions about the viability of American democracy itself.
"The culture war: It's back!"
Gary Kamiya writes in Salon: